Electronic Nicotine Devices (ENDs) or electronic cigarettes hold significant potential as both cessation aids and harm reduction support. ENDs deliver an aerosol of propylene glycol and/or glycerine, nicotine and flavours. Unlike combustible tobacco cigarettes, ENDs deliver nicotine in an inhalable form without the tobacco. This is an important development because tobacco and other toxic constituents of cigarettes, and not nicotine, cause the vast majority of health harms of smoking. Like traditional nicotine replacement therapy (eg, patches), the provision of nicotine reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms, and ENDs also address the behavioural aspect of smoking cigarettes such as the hand-to-mouth action, and inhaling and exhaling of “smoke” (or vapour). Cochrane reviews have found ENDs to be safe and effective smoking cessation aid in general population samples of smokers.
In Australia, up to 95% of people entering AOD treatment smoke tobacco which is five times the national smoking rate. Although treatment clients are interested in quitting and make quit attempts, they find it difficult to remain quit in the long-term. Novel relapse prevention approaches are required for this high smoking prevalence population.